Benedict XVI recently penned a thoughtful introduction to the Russian translation of his collected works on liturgy. Among other insights, he offers a beautiful reflection on the essential role the liturgy plays in the monastic life. He also emphasizes the harm that results when liturgy becomes more about “the doings of men” and his creative expression than adoration of God. It’s always incredibly refreshing to read new reflections on liturgy from this remarkable shepherd.

In the years following the Second Vatican Council, I became aware again of the priority of God and the divine liturgy. The misunderstanding of the liturgical reform that has spread widely in the Catholic Church has led to more and more emphasis on the aspect of education and its activity and creativity. The doings of men almost completely obscured the presence of God. In such a situation it became increasingly clear that the Church’s existence lives in the proper celebration of the liturgy and that the Church is in danger when the primacy of God no longer appears in the liturgy and so in life. The deepest cause of the crisis that has upset the Church lies in the obscurity of God’s priority in the liturgy.

Image: Pope Benedict XVI (CNS photo)